Money

Here’s The 10 Best Cities For College Students To Make Money Over Winter Break

Most college students probably don’t view Winter Break as an opportunity to make bank. But you probably should.

Care.com, a website devoted to helping parents or pet owners find freelancers to help them with projects complied a list of the best cities to make extra cash during the break.

Check out their findings:

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RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: vallgall/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Five Essential Steps For Millennials To Tackle Their Taxes

By Maria C. Alonso, Bank of America Miami Market Manager

Maria Alonso

The author. Submitted Photo.

Filing taxes. It’s unavoidable and intimidating, especially for those less experienced in doing it. In fact, 80 percent of millennials worry about making a mistake, according to a new survey by NerdWallet.

With April 15 less than a month away, time is of the essence. If you are struggling with how to get started take a look at these five steps to help you get you on the right track.

  1. Know your tax bracket

Each bracket of your income is taxed at a different rate. As you make more money, a higher percentage may be owed in taxes.

Check out this infographic on decoding your tax bracket to see how it works.

  1. Know your timeline

The regular tax return filing deadline is April 15. In general, experts recommend filing tax returns earlier rather than later. The earlier you file, the better your chances of avoiding tax-related identity theft, a crime that’s on the rise. Plus, if you’re owed a refund, you will get it sooner.

Additional tip: If you think you need extra time, you can file an extension giving you until October 15. But, if you owe the government money, you still need to pay your estimated taxes in full by April 15 to avoid penalties and interest.

  1. Get familiar with the terms and paperwork

Check out this guide to key tax terms, then start collecting all of the essential information you’ll need, including:

  • W-2s: Sometime in January or February, you should have received a W-2 form from your employer(s). With information on your wages, tips and tax withholdings, this form may contain much of what you need to complete the bulk of your tax return. Watch this video on the anatomy of a W-2 to gain a better understanding of what the form includes.
  • 1099s: If you earned interest on a savings account or you have income from an investment account, you should also have received a 1099 form from your bank or your broker showing just how much interest, dividends, or capital gains or losses your account has accrued over the past year.

The three main personal income tax forms are the 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. The simplest of these and a good option if you have a fairly simple financial picture is the 1040EZ. The 1040 and 1040A forms are a bit more complex but offer additional tax credit options if you qualify. Refer to this simple IRS guide to choose and download the right form for you. Watch this video to find out if the 1040EZ form is right for you.

  1. Decide how to file

The easiest way to prepare and file your tax return (and to process your refund) is through IRS e-file. E-filing is easily available for those who file on their own or use online programs or tax professionals to prepare their returns. If your adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less, you may be eligible for free online tax-filing services.

  1. Plan year-round

Whether you’re filing independently or working with a tax professional, staying on top of related paperwork all year long will make your life easier during tax season. If you plan to itemize deductions, you probably want to keep receipts for things like charitable donations, job expenses and medical bills. You should keep your paperwork after you file, too. The IRS recommends keeping records for three years.

Also, having a sense of which credits and deductions you may be eligible for can help you save the proper documentation all year and avoid a last-minute scramble. Here are a few to consider: saver’s credit, student loan interest, moving expenses, job search expenses, charitable deductions, freelance expenses, and homeowner’s benefits.

Additional tip: If you think you may qualify for additional credits or deductions, check the IRS website.

Maria C. Alonso is the Miami Market Manager for Bank of America. 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Martha Soukup/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

These 7 Subscription Services Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

By Vanessa Paredes

The subscription service model is simple; pay a monthly or yearly fee and get continuous services or product(s) in return. Companies like Birchbox spearheaded the subscription biz boom in the early twenty-tens and the rest is history.

Today, millions of Americas are happily subscribed to a box or five, which comes as no surprise considering the nation’s lust for the following three things: fast, convenient, and app-enabled.

With over 1,000 subscription boxes and tons of other services now available, it might be difficult to sift through the melee and figure out which ones are truly adding value to your life.

I have personally tried quite a few of them myself, and I can assure you that the following seven services are worth a try.

Harry’s

Our new, rubberized Truman handle means more grip and better control. Shower shavers rejoice!

A photo posted by Harry’s (@harrys) on

Harry’s is a no brainer for those who happen to grow hair on their bodies. Yes, that includes women. This service offers a variety of “shave plans” depending on how often you need to shave, and it is a lot more affordable than buying over-priced razors at the drugstore all the time.

Bonus: the razors themselves are beautifully designed and the blades boast a clean shave every time.

Blue Apron

Wrap up the weekend with a pita full of all the best Greek and Middle Eastern ingredients!

A photo posted by Blue Apron (@blueapron) on

Throw on your apron and get ready to cook like a pro. This food subscription box might give you sticker shock at first ($59.94 a week). But when you start breaking it down, it makes sense.

You get 3 meals a week for two people, meaning each meal is under $10 per person.

If you happen to already be eating out or going to the grocery store regularly, chances are you spend more than that already without reaping the Blue Apron benefits: fresh pre-portioned ingredients delivered to you weekly that actually teach you how to cook like a chef.

Amazon Prime

Some advice as we head into the weekend ? #Regram from the talented @engineeronbreak #AmazonPrime

A photo posted by Amazon (@amazon) on


Prime may not be actual subscription box, but the benefits of having a membership are so rewarding that it had to be included in the list. Not only is two day free shipping a complete lifesaver for last minute gifts, but you also get tons of free movies and shows as well as access to Amazon Pantry and Amazon Now which will eliminate the need to drive to a store ever again.

Class Pass

Jumping for joy to have an extra day this year! #leapday #leapyear Studio: @bounceinc

A photo posted by ClassPass (@classpass) on


Its not all about making life easier, sometimes is about making life healthier. If you are looking for a subscription service that gives you the most bang for your buck, class pass is the way to go. It allows member to attend unlimited fitness classes a month, with options ranging from Yoga, to Spinning, to Zumba all over your respective city.

Trunk Club

When you look good, you feel good—and when you feel good, you break barriers. #MondayMotivation

A photo posted by Trunk Club (@trunkclub) on

In a way this is a free subscription service for men who hate going to the mall. How it works: you receive a “trunk” filled with clothes, belts and shoes in your size and style to then try on. Pay for what you want to keep and return the rest. It’s pretty simple and awfully convenient.

Birchbox

Makeup junkies rejoice, Birchbox is a super affordable way to try top of the line products and decide which ones are worth the purchase. Shopping for cosmetics can get tricky when you aren’t sure how certain products will affect your skin or look throughout the day. Birchbox saves the day by letting you try a gamut of items every month for only $10. Plus, you can take these minis with you when you travel as an added benefit.

Netflix

? #netflixandchill

A photo posted by Netflix US (@netflix) on

If you are looking to make your life easier by saving money and you haven’t cut the cord already, you need to listen up: stop paying for cable and switch to Netflix. The streaming service is a respectable replacement for that little black box costing you a fortune in your living room.

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